Quantitative comparison of lipids in some pollens and their phagostimulatory effects in honey bees
Satyabir Singh; Kavita Saini; K L Jain
Lipid extraction in honey bee collected corbiculum pollen from seven plant host species showed distinct differences in amounts of lipid within preferred/non-preferred honey bee pollens. Mean amounts of lipid in highly preferred pollens such as Brassica campestris var. Toria, Cosmos bipinnatus and Raphanus sativum were 20.3%, 19.4% and 17.8%, respectively, and in least preferred pollens such as Helianthus annuus and Petunia hybrida were 11.9% and 11.6%, respectively. The cumulative flabellogustatory responses further demonstrated a significant linear increase in stimulatory effects to B. campestris pollen lipid extracts, whereas the response repertoire with P. hybrida was of reverse order. The bee responses to an identical lipid concentration of B. campestris, Dahlia sp., H. annuus and P. hybrida manifested clear evidence for inhibitory effects of H. annuus lipids to Apis mellifera and A. dorsata suggesting that pollen lipids play a considerable role in honey bee preference for pollen collection.